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Protests outside Hotel Killarney are not right – TD

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By Sean Moriarty

Kerry Sinn Féin TD Pa Daly has called for protests to be held elsewhere other than outside Direct Provision Centres.

Daly was reacting to a situation outside Hotel Killarney last Saturday.

The hotel is a temporary home to 400 International Protection applicants including men, women and children.

It was also the location of a New Year’s day brawl that resulted in eight arrests and six people taken to hospital.

Encouraged by similar protests across the country, most notably in East Wall Dublin, a group that calls itself 'Ireland First' organised a protest rally outside the hotel.

The group were objecting to the number of residents staying at the hotel and are opposed to refugee immigration into Ireland.

Daly hit out at the group saying their actions at the hotel were inappropriate.

“I understand there are concerns and people have the right to protest,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

“This is not the place to be doing it, there are people there who have come from situations of conflict. There is a newborn baby and a pregnant woman there. Take the protest to the centre of town, if you had a problem with A&E would you take the protest to the nurse’s house? If you had a problem with housing would you take it to the Council’s housing officer’s house?

Daly understands there are concerns regarding the number of International Protection applicants in Killarney.
However, a meeting of Kerry’s Joint Policing Committee just before the Christmas break was told that there were no reports of crime increases in the Park Road area of Killarney last year.

“There has been no increase [in crimes] and I have asked the Gardai to put out a statement to allay fears,” he added.

He has also spoken to Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and has asked for more Gardai in the Killarney area particularly in the busier summer months.

He has also spoken with Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O'Gorman, the minister responsible for housing refugees, but added that Government has not done enough.

“The Government failed to explore the holiday home option, they have not moved on one inch since the whole Skellig Star debacle at the start of COVID,” Daly said.

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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‘More Precious Than Gold’ book launch

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At the official book launch of ‘More Precious Than Gold: My enduring connection with John McShain – the man who built Washington’ by Alice O’Neill-McLoughlin at Killarney House, was Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D.

Alice was born the eldest of eleven children into an Irish farming family in Rosbercon, New Ross, County Wexford. In 1978, she was awarded a scholarship from John McShain- the iconic builder, philanthropist, devout Catholic with Derry ancestry, responsible for many famous American landmarks, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon.

Her book records the lifelong personal correspondence Alice exchanged with ‘The Man Who Built Washington.’ His philanthropy extended to the Irish people in the bequeathing to the State of Killarney House and the surrounding thousands of acres incorporating the Lakes, Ross Castle, and Innisfallen Island. In 2019, Alice had the honour of inducting John McShain into the Irish America Hall of Fame in her home town of New Ross in the presence of his relatives from Philadelphia and Derry. This is a tale of altruism, of gratitude, of faith and of a life lived in the pursuit of excellence.

Alice also donated her treasured correspondence of letters from John McShain for the archive at Killarney House. Also in attendance were Members of the Ignatius A. O’Shaughnessy family, who was founder of The Globe Oil and Refining Company – and part of a consortium of wealthy American businessmen who were going to purchase the lakes of Killarney as a Country Club in the 1950’s.

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